Americas Magnificent National Parks

America's Magnificent National Parks End Denver (Summer 2019)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: United States

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Prepare for an epic adventure through remarkable scenery and prominent landmarks as you make your way through America's Magnificent National Parks. This sprightly tour combines 'Enchanting Canyonlands' with the 'American Parks Trail' to form a complete experience of North America's most popular parks, historic monuments and scenic grandeur. From gliding through the narrow sandstone turns of Antelope Canyon to witnessing the sprouting geysers of Yellowstone and releasing your inner cowboy at the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West, you'll take in some of America's most iconic sights in a manner and at a pace that suits you.



  1. Day 1

    Arrive in Phoenix and Travel to Scottsdale.

    Welcome to Arizona, famous for road trips, Monument Valley, and of course the Grand Canyon. Your airport transfer will whisk you to your hotel in Scottsdale where you can enjoy the facilities and grounds of this striking desert oasis. At 18:00, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner, where you will have the opportunity to mingle over a delightful dinner with wine.

  2. Day 2

    Sedona and the Wonders of the Mighty Grand Canyon.

    Journey north to the bohemian colony of Sedona. Attractive to healers, this spiritual town’s vortexes are rumoured to offer alternative medicines and practices. If retail therapy is more your thing, explore Sedona’s shops and galleries, or simply take in its natural rugged beauty, which makes it a hotspot for hikers, swimmers and eager campers. Journey on to Grand Canyon National Park, where you have the opportunity to take an optional, once-in-a-lifetime, flightseeing tour by helicopter or plane. Join a Local Expert for an informative presentation about the wonders of the Grand Canyon before ending your day with a tranquil night inside the park and an appetizing Highlight Dinner with wine in the inviting Thunderbird Room of your lodge. Located on the South Rim, this beautiful venue offers a wet-bar, barbeque and private balcony, so you can feast on hearty food while taking in the stunning views.

  3. Day 3

    Monument Valley and Lake Powell.

    Head through striking crimson landscapes to the historic Cameron Trading Post where you will find Native American arts and crafts. Journey on through the barren beauty of the desert to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where you will board all-terrain vehicles to explore the valley with your Navajo guide. Stop at the Glen Canyon Dam to learn about its impact on the Colorado River before arriving at your lakefront resort.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Leisurely Lake Powell.

    Start the day at leisure by enjoying your resort’s facilities. Later take a cruise through the narrow sandstone turns of Antelope Canyon, one of the top-rated highlights on the trip. End the day with a breathtaking sunset from your lake view or marina view room.

  5. Day 5

    Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.

    Prepare for a day of Norse legend, as you head to the sandstone cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah. Here you will be met by pine trees, red rock pillars and Thor’s hammer. You’ll take a leisurely walk along Sunset Point to view the great amphitheatres of the odd-shaped monoliths, known as hoodoos, before travelling through more amazing scenery to the lush cliff-and-canyon landscape of Zion National Park. A day of sightseeing deserves some evening festivities. Join your Travel Director and new friends for a Highlight Dinner and wine to discuss your take on the ethereal characters of Utah’s famous canyon.

  6. Day 6

    Zion to Las Vegas, From Nature to Neon.

    Depart the tranquil ambiance of Zion National Park Lodge and board a private Zion Canyon Shuttle. Live commentary will take you through the scenic highlights of the park, followed by some downtime to explore on your own. Depart the natural beauty of the park to arrive in the bright lights and glamour of Las Vegas. With an array of shopping malls, live shows and dining opportunities, this dazzling destination is sure to entertain. And for those looking to hit the casinos, make sure you come with your poker face ready.

  7. Day 7

    Salt Lake City.

    Today you’ll travel to Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City, where you’ll spend the night. Lying between Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake, this mountainous city is perfect for outdoorsy types, with a strong focus on skiing and fishing. It is also the headquarters of the Mormon faith.

  8. Day 8

    Jackson and Grand Teton National Park.

    As you move on from Salt Lake City, take in iconic Temple Square and State Capitol building, before heading north across the Oregon Trail to historic Jackson. Have your cameras ready for the famous elk antlers that adorn the central square, and for eager shoppers there are a number of charming traditional boutiques to browse. Relax at Jackson Lake Lodge, where you’ll be presented with the stunning peaks of Grand Teton National Park.

  9. Day 9

    Yellowstone National Park.

    Wake up to a mountainous view like no other and witness the striking Grand Tetons thrust skyward 6,562 feet (2,000 metres) from the valley floor. In keeping with today’s rustic country charm, you’ll enter Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park. Known for its unique geothermal activity, spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife, you’ll experience Wyoming in all its glory. Keep an eye out for black bears or wolves. Tonight you’ll stay in the National Park Lodges, allowing you to experience the park after hours, in its natural glory.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Geysers and Colourful Mudpots at Yellowstone.

    Savour the surreal surroundings of Yellowstone with a relaxed start. Walk among the rainbow tinted hot springs and watch the erupting geysers as you take in the history of the park on an informative stroll with your Travel Director. Catch the renowned colourful bubbling mud pots and observe Old Faithful geyser shooting water over 120 feet (37 metres) into the air. You’ll behold the powerful roar of Lower Yellowstone Falls, before heading back to your Park Lodge rooms. The National Park is also famous for its wildlife, so keep an eye out for the Yellowstone ram, wolves, bears and elk.

  11. Day 11

    The Ranch at Ucross.

    Set off on your travels through the stark Shoshone Canyon and Absaroka Rocky Mountains to the Wild West Town of Cody. Channel your inner showman and learn more about America’s great Western legends at the Buffalo Bill Centre. End the day in Clearmont, Wyoming where you’ll check in to your abode for the night. Here you’ll enjoy a ranch style Highlight Dinner with wine.

  12. Day 12

    Devils Tower into the Black Hills.

    Live the American frontier dream and begin your day with a scenic country horseback ride (waiver required). If playing cowboy isn’t your thing, perhaps go fishing or merely relax and take in your beautiful surroundings, the choice is yours. Make your way to Devils Tower, an astounding geological feature that protrudes out of the surrounding the Black Hills. This symbolic landmark is considered sacred to the Lakota and other tribes. Experience Spearfish Canyon, a favoured spot among wildlife enthusiasts and one famous for its elvish woodland beauty. The limestone palisades of this creek-carved gorge are more ancient than the Grand Canyon.

  13. Day 13

    Custer and the Wild, Wild West.

    A day for those looking to explore the wild west, try to spot pronghorn antelope as you cross the great high plains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. You’ll also get to speak to members of the Lakota tribe as they share a fascinating live narrative of the Great Sioux Nation. Once in Deadwood, you’ll have the opportunity to join Kevin Costner’s Original Deadwood Tour, while a Local Expert will talk about the days of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, who made this once lawless town famous during the Gold Rush of the 1870s. Continue on to Custer State Park, renowned for its beautiful landscape and abundant wildlife.

  14. Day 14

    The Mountain Monuments of the Black Hills of South Dakota.

    What better way to spend your last full day than delving further into the history of this fascinating country? You’ll start by viewing Crazy Horse Memorial which is dedicated to all Native Americans, before moving on to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Here, carvings of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt dominate the Black Hills. The rest of the day is yours to explore in Custer State Park. Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Celebration Dinner with wine, as you reflect on your adventure across the wide open spaces of America’s national parks.

  15. Day 15

    Depart Denver.

    Travel south from Custer State Park where your tour ends on arrival in Denver. A transfer is available to Denver International Airport.
    Airport arrival in Denver will be at 16:30.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Grand Canyon: Join a Local Expert for an informative presentation and witness the burnt orange hues of the canyon walls.
  • Monument Valley: Join a Navajo guide in an open-air vehicle to explore the iconic vistas of this Navajo Tribal Park.
  • UCross: Spend your morning doing as the locals do, exploring your surroundings by horseback with a gentle ride (waiver required) led by a Local Expert.
  • Deadwood: Historical Wild West figures such as Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane called Deadwood home. Learn about the Gold Rush and the town’s notable residents aboard Kevin Costner’s Original Deadwood Tour with a Local Expert.
  • Deadwood:
    Enjoy an audience with Lakota tribe members as they share a live narrative of the Great Sioux Nation.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sedona: Visit this Red Rock Country artists' colony, set in Sedona's majestic red rock landscape.
  • Cameron: Stop at the historic Trading Post, established in the early 1900s as a place where Native American's traded wool and livestock.
  • Glen Canyon: Visit the dam that stands 710 feet or 216 meters high, and provides water and power to western communities.
  • Lake Powell: A testament to the power of water over rock, glide through the narrow sandstone turns of Antelope Canyon during your cruise.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park: Enjoy the rugged beauty with a leisurely walk along Sunset Point to view the hoodoos.
  • Zion National Park: The most relaxing and informative way to see the grandeur and natural features of the canyon is by a private shuttle that includes live commentary.
  • Grand Teton National Park: Take in panoramic views of the beautiful Jenny Lake, a glacial formation that dates back over 10,000 years.
  • Yellowstone: See Upper Geyser Basin, which boasts the highest concentration of spouting geysers, hot springs and steaming fumaroles in the world.
  • Cody: Explore the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West, known for its excellent Western art collection and natural history.
  • Black Hills: Witness the huge Crazy Horse Memorial and the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Grand Canyon: Enjoy dinner with an incredible view at the Thunderbird Room, overlooking the South Rim.
  • UCross Ranch: Savour a hearty ranch style Highlight Dinner, prepared by your local hosts.
  • Custer: Toast to the finale of your trip at your Celebration Dinner served at your lodge within Custer State Park.
  • Dining Summary: 14 Breakfasts (B), 1 Dinner (D) and 6 Dinners with wine (DW).

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Scottsdale: Wander the grounds of this desert oasis, leaving behind your hectic lifestyle at the McCormick Scottsdale to relax and renew.
  • Grand Canyon: Insight stays centrally located within the National Park. In these cases, the hotels are much more rustic and typical of the natural environment.
  • Lake Powell: We guarantee rooms with lake-views, picture-perfect vistas and breathtaking sunsets at Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas.
  • Zion National Park: Stay in rustic charming lodges, located right inside the National Park.
  • Las Vegas: Sleek modern decor and the luxurious furnishings make every guest feel like royalty at the ARIA Resort and Casino.
  • Salt Lake City: Centrally located downtown, the Hilton Salt Lake City Center offers views of the Salt Lake Valley and mountain peaks.
  • Grand Teton National Park: Stay right inside the National Park at the desirable Jackson Lake Lodge. One of the largest of all the eco-friendly resorts, with breathtaking views.
  • Yellowstone National Park: Insight stays centrally located within the National Park. In these cases, the hotels are much more rustic and typical of the natural environment.
  • UCross: Enjoy a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere during your stay at the Ranch at UCross with the natural scenic beauty of the surroundings.
  • Spearfish: Deep in the heart of beautiful canyons you will find Spearfish Canyon Lodge. Built and decorated in the style of the old lodges of the West.
  • Custer State Park: Insight stays centrally located within the State Park. In these cases, the hotels are much more rustic and typical of the natural environment.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency
  • We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available)
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times
  • If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale

Scottsdale (Resort) - USA

National Park Lodges Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon (Traditional) - USA

Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas Lake View or Marina View Rooms

Lake Powell (Traditional) - USA

Zion National Park Lodge

Zion (Traditional) - USA

The name “Zion” means a place of peace and refuge. As a sanctuary with over 146,000 acres of cliffs, canyons, diverse plant and animal life, and uninterrupted beauty, Zion is well-named. Its massive sandstone walls, some as high as 3,800 feet, offer an opportunity for serenity and reflection for all who visit - and Zion Lodge offers the only in-park lodging inside this hiker’s paradise. Enjoy a selection of comfortable and spacious accommodations, a year-round restaurant serving local favorites and a wide variety of ways to keep you entertained during your stay in Zion National Park.

Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas

Las Vegas (Contemporary) - USA

Hilton Salt Lake City Center

Salt Lake City (Traditional) - USA

Jackson Lake Lodge

Lake Lodge (Traditional) - USA

National Park Lodges Yellowstone

Yellowstone (Traditional) - USA

Ideally located within view of the world-famous Old Faithful Geyser, The Old Faithful Inn offers many highlights and advantages you won't find anywhere else. The grand lobby, known as the “Old House,” is one of the largest log structures in the world. It was completed in 1904, and has unique decorative features including etched glass panels, a large stone fireplace, and balcony porches overlooking the Old Faithful Geyser Basin. Timber columns, hickory furniture, and an antique, handcrafted clock add to the classic appeal of the Old Faithful Inn. Custom wood framing outside the lodge can also be found throughout the building. Log stairs and pine railings add to the Old Faithful Inn's rustic charm.

Ranch at UCross Clearmont

Clearmont (Traditional) - USA

Spearfish Canyon Lodge

Spearfish (Traditional) - USA

Deep in the heart of one of the most breathtaking, beautiful canyons in the world, nestled alongside lofty pines and spectacular cliffs, you will find Spearfish Canyon Lodge. Built and decorated in the style of the old lodges of the West, you can let nature take over and open your mind and the outside world is as near or far as you need it to be.

The State Game Lodge Custer State Park

Custer State Park (Traditional) - USA

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10914 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 18 August, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I think and fellow passengers also agreed that Las Vegas should be taken off the iternary. The drive was very long and not worth the trip. It is not a National Park and not a family place to visit. I feel that the extra time should of been in Bryce or Zion park. Those parks are breathtaking. We all would of loved to walk some of those beautiful trails

    Service: Excellent tour director. Ann was very knowledgeable and sweet. The bus driver was very cautious. I felt very safe on those canyon roads. Very pleased with the hotel choices and iternary.

  • 04 August, 2018

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    Trip: Very enjoyable vacation!!

    Service: Very friendly and patient

  • 01 August, 2018

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    Trip: mainly be cause of the tour director. Todd

    Service: The tour was excellent , the tour guide was excellent , I was not disappointed. some stops could have been longer.

  • 31 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: The trip was very well planned. Every day brought new and memorable experiences which ranged from flying over the Grand Canyon to staying on a ranch and toasting s'mores over a campfire.

    Service: My Tour Director Todd Geist was excellent - professional, well organised, knowledgeable, entertaining, punctual and well equipped with excellent resources to ensure the trip was memorable.

  • 29 July, 2018

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    Trip: Less time at Lake Powell would have improved the itinerary.

    Service: The itinerary, the organization of the trip, the tour guide- all these things allowed us to enjoy the destinations.

  • 28 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: All the parks were great.

    Service: The entire trip was wonderful.

  • 28 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Accomadation was adequate location outstanding

    Service: Great director and driver

  • 28 July, 2018

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    Trip: Excellent as I said above.

    Service: Todd, our tour director was above excellent as was our driver, Joe. They made the trip with their attention to detail and friendly service. Todd's knowledge of the area was unbelievable!! He was like a walking encyclopedia!! The itinerary was excellent. The schedule was full and we were very busy, but that is understandable considering the amount of territory we covered in 2 weeks. You definitely have dedicated Insight Travelers in Patty and me.

  • 28 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Great scheduling of additional excursions. Very comfortable bus with great driver, Joe. Accommodations within the parks were a convenient & special bonus. Have no negative comments, only praise for Insight. Will definitely book another trip.

    Service: Absolutely great. Itinerary was quite busy but very well planned to see the best the Parks have to offer. Would definitely, and already have, recommended to our friends and family. Todd Geist is a very special tour guide. So knowledgable, personable and helpful. Definitely enjoys his job. We think he made the trip as great as it was. Thank you Todd!

  • 21 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Saw everything I wanted to

    Service: Great

  • 21 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Extremely well thought out itinerary in every detail. Our accommodations were excellent, the pacing of the trip and quality of the personnel could not have been better. We had outstanding weather which made for terrific pictures to remember our trip. Will definitely consider Insight for the Canadian Rockies and Ireland and Scotland!

    Service: Kelly Serna was very efficient and pleasant to work with in reservations. She always followed up. Our bus driver, Richard was terrific. He kept the bus immaculate. Anand was an outstanding tour director who was efficient, knew his itinerary and was always pleasant and fun.

  • 21 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Enjoyed everything, great trip

    Service: Overall xperience was great as were the last five trips with insight.

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